Turkey releases AFP photographer after three days

Turkey releases AFP photographer after three days

ISTANBUL - Agence France-Presse
Turkey releases AFP photographer after three days

DHA photo

Turkish authorities released an AFP photographer Friday, three days after he was detained as part of a probe into journalists suspected of colluding with Kurdish militans.

"I am free, I've rejoined my family. There are no charges against me," Mustafa Ozer said, adding that he had been questioned at length over his professional contacts with people close to Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

"I'm fine, I just lack sleep," he added, explaining that he had been questioned for 20 hours on Wednesday to Thursday, and more than six hours on Friday.

Ozer was released along with six other people, Turkish news agency Anatolia reported.

Another 41 people however remained in custody.

Ozer was detained at his house in Istanbul during a police operation in several Turkish cities, which arrested 48 people, including more than 20 journalists.

The AFP earlier expressed to Turkish authorities its "grave concerns" over Ozer's arrest.

According to Anatolia, the police operation was targeting the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) which the government claims is the urban wing of the PKK, listed as a terrorist organisation by Turkey, US and European Union.

Since 2009, 700 people have been arrested for alleged links with the rebels, according to the government, but the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) puts the figure at more than 3,500.

Around 70 journalists and intellectuals have also been arrested on various charges, including links with Kurdish militants, provoking criticism of the Turkish authorities at home and abroad.